The meeting was called to order at 4:10 p.m. All departments were in attendance except Interdisciplinary Studies.
I. Minutes of previous meeting
II. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
III. Report of the Student Senate President
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Association
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
Provost Prabhu commented on the administrative support for the invitation of Dr. Bill Ayers to campus to speak on urban education. Dr. Prabhu stressed the need to uphold the principles of academic freedom and the marketplace of ideas. He indicated that it is important to remain open to dialogue on campus, maintain decorum, and deal with concerns respectfully. Senator Greenawalt, faculty advisor for the Young Republicans, agreed with these principles but expressed concern about Dr. Ayers’ viewpoints and attitude about personal choices. Senator Scott commented that an environment of exclusion destabilizes society.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Vice President Breaux indicated that the job description for Associate Vice President of Student Affairs has been posted and that efforts are being made to quickly hire a permanent Director of Health Services. She noted there have been reduced hours at Health Services due to staff shortages.
Associate Provost for Academic Administration
Associate Provost Burns encouraged faculty to participate in the Campus Climate Survey so that impressions on campus can be used to determine future directions. He also noted that the UNIV103 First-Year Inquiry sections planned for fall are insufficient to meet the demand. Dr. Burns requested that faculty consider offering additional sections. It was noted that it is difficult for faculty to pursue these courses within complement. Dr. Burns responded that changes in the requirements for G1 and G3 courses in the Gen Ed program should make this more feasible. He stressed the significant impact of these courses in exposing students to critical thinking within topics to which they feel connected.
VI. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
Senator Baker represented APC to introduce several documents addressing system commonalities or state mandates. Proposals were made to modify language of the Undergraduate Residency Policy [see Attachment #1], the Undergraduate Repeat Policy [see Attachment #2], Major and Minor Course and/or Program Change Procedures [see Attachment #3], Approval Process for Courses and Programs [see Attachment #4], and Distance Learning Course Approval Process [see Attachment #5]. A revised chart of the Approval Process for University Undergraduate and Graduate Programs and Courses was also distributed [see Attachment #6]. Senator Mowrey cautioned that GCPRC rather than APC is responsible for policies relating to graduate education, including curriculum approval processes. She suggested deletion of references to graduate education, including GCPRC, and change of the document title to Undergraduate Approval Process for Courses and Programs. Senator Baker will take the information back to APC for that committee’s review and revision.
(1) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
PHYS104: Applied Physics, 4 credits, G2, L. Proposal to create a course that studies the application of mathematics to practical problems in physics.
(2) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
BIOL101: Foundations of Biology, 4 credits, G2, L. Proposal to create a course that introduces foundational principles for modern biological knowledge for biology majors and minors.
(3) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
BIOL343: Principles of Ecology and Evolution, 4 credits, W. Proposal to create a course covering the basic concepts and principles of evolution and ecology.
(4) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
BIOL362: Cell and Developmental Biology, 4 credits, G2, L, W. Proposal to create a course covering the basic concepts and principles of cell and developmental biology.
(5) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
BIOL364: Foundations of Genetics and Molecular Biology, 4 credits. Proposal to create a course covering the concepts and principles essential for understanding genetics and molecular biology.
(6) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
BIOL: BA, BSE, BS majors; Biology and Molecular Biology minors; all options. Proposal to introduce four new courses to create a required core of six courses to provide broad foundations for most biology majors and minors.
(7) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
BIOL: BA, BSE, BS majors; Biology and Molecular Biology minors; all options. Proposal to modify prerequisites as needed to accommodate new courses and programs for biology majors and minors.
(1) NEW GRADUATE COURSE
BIOL664: Foundations of Genetics and Molecular Biology, 4 credits. Proposal to create a course covering the concepts and principles essential for understanding genetics and molecular biology.
Senator Mowrey distributed a proposal to change graduate student admission testing requirements to eliminate the uniform requirement for standardized tests. This allows each degree program to tailor its admission requirements as appropriate for the program. For programs where standardized testing is not relevant, the change may attract more applicants.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
VIII. Proposed Courses and Programs
(1) CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
ECON, Political Economy, Financial, Economics option. Proposal to limit the required related course choices to MATH 151, 161 or 211 was approved without dissent.
(2) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE
SPAN334: Spanish American Civilization II, 3 credits. Proposal to create a course covering the history and culture of the Spanish Americas from 1824 to contemporary times was approved without dissent.
IX. Faculty Emeriti
X. Report on 2009-2010 Budget
Questions were raised about the availability of budget information and the relative percentage of faculty expenses within personnel compensation. Mr. Bruszewski indicated that some information is on the F&A website. Dr. Prabhu also pointed out that departments know the breakdown of salaries. Another question addressed whether strategies are being explored that will be more effective than global cuts across budgets. Mr. Bruszewski responded that efforts are being made to identify areas where cuts will be felt the least. The issue of increasing revenue was raised. However, Mr. Bruszewski noted that the structure of different revenue streams on campus limits how funds can be used. The existence of carryover funds was addressed. Mr. Bruszewski noted that some cases of one-time funding have become permanent over time. In response to a question of our negotiating points, he suggested our fiscal responsibility in keeping tuitions low over the last 10 years may have impacted the recommendation by the governor to keep PASSHE funding the same as last year.
XI. Other/New Business
Meeting was adjourned at 5:43 p.m.
Aimee L. Miller
Secretary of the Senate
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